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Is there still a place for employee magazines?

01 November 2020

Henry Davies argues it could be time to junk the office magazine once and for all.

Internal communications has moved on from the days of the memo (piece of paper in a big brown envelope with lots of names on it, some ticked off). They looked like this:

But the company magazine for employees is still alive and well, and on numerous coffee tables across the country.

There’s no doubt that there are some very good magazines out there – well designed and well written. But there are just as many that seem to be a waste of recycled paper.

What’s the argument for producing an employee magazine?

Pride

Colleagues do love to see stories of colleagues featured and magazines have traditionally been great for that.

Remote or disparate workforces

Dispersed workforces spread out across multiple locations still respond well to a magazine.

Behaviour

If you pick up a physical magazine,  you are more likely to read it than just delete or ignore an email.

Technophobes

There are still many people uncomfortable with digital technology who prefer a physical magazine to a digital one.

And against?

Of course, this argument is not holding up as much as it might have before. Technophobes are scarce right? Remote workers?  Is that simply because you’re not prepared to invest in decent smart phones and apps?  And behaviour?  Well, if the newspaper market is anything to go by, then most of us have got over the need for a physical copy.

The ‘pride’ argument is a good one.  But this is no reason to stick with a magazine.  Great storytelling programmes happen on all platforms now – and are less engineered and more natural.

When employee magazines launched, they were based on journalistic skills – with a strong features theme rather than the PR padding .

So if we want to save employee magazines, it’s time to return to the principles of great feature writing and design.

 

Do you agree with Henry? Or is your employee magazine still loved by your staff? Get in touch and let us know.

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